Seeking a Peace or Protective Order?

Or Has Someone Wrongfully Filed a Peace or Protective Order Against You?

We can walk you through the process of securing a peace order or protective order from a District Court judge, District Court commissioner, or Circuit Court judge. But those who have become involved in the peace or protective order process should know the potential traps they may face in Court as well as the effect these orders can have on their immigration status or with their top secret and secret security clearances.

If you’re looking for an attorney with extensive experience in handling peace orders or protective orders in Rockville or Silver Spring, or in the surrounding counties of Prince George’s, Frederick, or Howard Counties, please call us today.

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Call (301) 762-7007 now or click the button below.

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eBook - The Guide to Protective Orders in MD PDF
eBook - The Guide to Protective Orders in MD PDF

What are Peace Orders and Protective Orders in Maryland?

Peace orders are a form of restraining order designed for individuals who do not share a familial or residential connection with the person initiating the order. This category includes friends, acquaintances, neighbors, or even complete strangers, regardless of their location, such as Montgomery Village or elsewhere. In legal terms, the individual seeking the order is referred to as the “petitioner,” while the person on whom the order is imposed is termed the “respondent.”

On the other hand, protective orders serve a similar purpose but are specifically intended for individuals who are either family members of, or cohabitants with, the petitioner. These orders are commonly applied in situations involving married couples or those engaged in various romantic relationships.

First Steps in the Process

Once a temporary order is issued, local law enforcement promptly serves it to the respondent. The order takes effect upon being served, barring the respondent from making any contact with the petitioner. Should the respondent breach this order, they may face criminal charges. Typically, a final hearing is set for about a week later, where both parties are given a chance to present their arguments before a judge. The judge then reaches a decision based on the evidence and testimonies presented in court. If the judge determines, through clear and convincing evidence, that the respondent has engaged in assault, threats, stalking, or harassment against the petitioner, a final order will be granted.


To seek a peace order or protective order, the petitioner must visit a District Courthouse and present a brief testimony to a judge, or to a commissioner if it’s outside regular business hours. The judge or commissioner will review your complaint and listen to your reasons for requesting the order, then decide whether to issue it. Before applying, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the relevant legal statutes (§3-1501, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, or §4-501, Family Law Article) to ascertain your eligibility for these orders. When requesting an order in court, it’s important to provide detailed and specific facts about your experience. Additionally, ensure that the incidents you’re reporting fall within the legally mandated time frames for filing: 30 days for peace orders and generally no set time limit for most protective orders.

Quick Tips

If you have been injured by the act of someone else, you should provide photographs or medical reports of your injuries to the judge. In addition, you should preserve any electronic evidence which is relevant to your case. This may include text messages or emails.


If you have been named as a respondent in a peace or protective order case, it is important to attend all court hearings and to abide by any orders issued by the Court.  In addition, you could also be facing criminal charges for the actions that were the basis of the order, or for anything you might do to violate the order after it is issued.  It is also important to understand that if the police attempt to interview you, they may well use whatever information or explanations you give them against you in court.  This could be true in either the criminal or restraining order case.

There are many things that a respondent should know before attempting to handle a peace or protective order on his or her own:

  • Maryland Courts are required to post both protective order and peace order cases on the Maryland Judiciary Case Search. Case search is a public database that lists all cases pending in Maryland courts;
  • Any security clearance you have will be affected by the filing of either a peace or protective order against you;
  • Landlords around Montgomery Village may be unwilling to rent to you if you are the respondent in a peace or protective order;
  • Employers may be reluctant to hire you;
  • Banks may choose not to extend credit to you;
  • If you are a party in a domestic relations case, any custody arrangement with your child could be jeopardized;
  • Peace orders could have immigration consequences;
  • All statements you make in the peace order or protective order case will be used against you if police later charge you with a crime in the same matter or related matter.

If You Want to Consult With Me About Your Case, Please Schedule a Consultation

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